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Genomics - Articles and news items

The T cell druggable genome

Genomics, Issue 4 2012 / 3 September 2012 / Jan Diekmann, Martin Löwer, John C. Castle, Sebastian Kreiter, Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin, Translational Oncology, Johannes Gutenberg Medical University of Mainz

The ‘druggable genome’ has been defined as those genes that can be pharmaceutically modulated; when intersected with disease-associated genes, the resultant set represents therapeutic targets for developing drugs to prevent and treat diseases. Historically, druggable therapeutic target genes have been defined by two features; (i) their significant contribution to the disease phenotype in a sufficient number of affected individuals and (ii) modulation of their activity by binding of a drug molecule.

The emerging era of cancer immunotherapy is dramatically changing the target landscape towards molecules that can be recognised by antibodies and T cells, thereby inducing redirection of immune effector mechanisms against target-bearing tumour cells. Despite the fact that the target space for immunotherapy is broad, few genes have been clinically evaluated as cancer immunotherapy targets. We have recently shown that patient and tumourspecific somatic mutations identified by next-generation sequencing of cancer genomes can be systematically targeted by cancer vaccines. In combination with a versatile immunotherapy platform for on-demand production of tailored vaccines, this, for the first time, opens the door to an entirely new source of druggable therapeutic targets – the abundant space of individual cancer mutations.

Genomics / Sequencing supplement 2011

Genomics, Issue 4 2011, Supplements / 31 August 2011 / Bhupinder Bhullar (Novartis Pharma AG), Wei Chen (Max Delbrück Center for Mollecular Medicine Berlin-Buch), Stephen A. Haney (Biological Profiling, Applied Quantitative Genotherapeutics, Pfizer Biotechnologies Unit)

NGS powers up drug discovery and healthcare.
Impact of novel sequencing technology on transcriptome analysis.
Making sense of nonesense (and missense): Bringing the results of recent genetic studies into the drug discovery laboratory.

Researchers identify genes causing antimalarial drug resistance

Industry news, News / 21 April 2011 / Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)

Researchers have identified several genes that may be implicated in the malaria parasite’s ability to rapidly evade drug treatments…

RNAi screens for the identification and validation of novel targets: Current status and challenges

Genomics, Issue 6 2010 / 16 December 2010 / Attila A. Seyhan, Translational Immunology, Inflammation and Immunology, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Recent advances in RNA interference (RNAi) technology and availability of RNAi libraries in various formats and genome coverage have impacted the direction and speed of drug target discovery and validation efforts. After the introduction of RNAi inducing reaagent libraries in various formats, systematic functional genome screens have been performed to query the functions of individual genes, pathways or an entire genome in many disease areas, including cancer, viral pathogenesis and others. As a consequence of these screens, novel mediators of cellular response to disease pathogenesis or treatment approaches have been identified leading to the discovery of novel drug targets, development of combinatorial treatment approaches and patient selection biomarkers.

Functional genomics as a tool for guiding personalised cancer treatment

Genomics, Issue 5 2010 / 29 October 2010 / Roderick Beijersbergen, Group Leader Molecular Carcinogenesis, the Netherlands Cancer Institute

Improved understanding of the molecular alterations in cancer cells has fuelled the development of more specific and directed cancer therapies. However, it has become clear that response rates can be low due to confounding genetic alterations that render these highly specific therapies ineffective. As a result, the costs of cancer treatment will increase enormously unless we are able to identify those patients that will benefit most from these directed therapies. In addition, it will be necessary to identify additional targets in these complex molecular networks that can be further exploited to increase overall response rates in the highly heterogenic populations of human tumours. In recent years, great expectations have been put forward for the use of functional genomic screening technologies to reach these goals.

The Sequencing Revolution: enabling personal genomics and personalised medicine

Genomics, Issue 5 2010 / 29 October 2010 / Bhupinder Bhullar, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

It has been 10 years since the completion of the first draft of the human genome. Today, we are in the midst of a full assault on the human genetic code, racing to uncover the genetic mechanisms that affect disease, aging, happiness, violence … and just about every imaginable human variation. Advances in DNA sequencing technology have enabled individuals to have their own genomes sequenced rapidly, cheaply and in astonishing detail. The sequencing revolution is also changing the way the pharmaceutical industry develops, tests and targets new medicines.

Digital polymerase chain reaction; new diagnostic opportunities

Industry Focus 2010, Past issues / 22 February 2010 /

LGC is an international science-based company located in South West London. A progressive and innovative enterprise, LGC operates in socially responsible fields underpinning the health, safety and security of the public, and regulation and enforcement for UK government departments and blue chip clients. Our products and services enable our customers to have a sound basis on which to base their scientific and commercial decisions or conformity to international statutory and regulatory standards.

What the future holds for real-time PCR

Industry Focus 2009, Past issues / 10 January 2009 /

TATAA Biocenters, located in Gothenburg, Sweden, Prague, Czech Republic, Freising outside Münich in Germany, and Sunnyvale, California1, work with leading instrument manufacturers and reagents companies in the quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) field on new applications, making the know-how available through hands-on courses worldwide. Every year new courses are launched based on the most recent developments in the field. The year 2008 has been very active in the qPCR area, with several important advancements that provide solid ground for future development of new research and diagnostic tools.

Genomics for the new biomedicine

Industry Focus 2008, Past issues / 7 April 2008 /

One of the most profound advances in biology and medicine has been the sequencing of entire genomes, including the human genome. The end product was the availability of the complete genetic blue print of organisms of importance to medicine and biotechnology. This changed how we conducted science. Cloning individual genes was no longer a limiting factor. Instead, entire scientific communities set upon understanding how genes interact with each other in pathways and across pathways so as to explain complex biological and physiological processes. For the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, the identification, cloning, and engineering of a single gene to produce a key biological product such as erythropoietin, was no longer an attractive investment prospect. Instead, companies that produced either a clinically tested end-product, or provided entire platforms for high throughput screening, were the only ones being funded. The new benchmark for success is now speed and comprehensiveness, which are orders of magnitude greater than just ten years ago.